Ok, so I have this problem where whenever i fast i feel like i’m not doing it for God. i’ll spend time with him, read the bible and pray but i just can’t help but think about my weight. I know it’s wrong and i try to not think about it but it’s really hard. The only way i can get myself not to eat while fasting is telling myself that i’ll be skinnier..which is not good. It probably seems more like a strict diet than a fast..Help?
Can I tell you the truth?
We’ve probably all felt this way during a fast. If someone says they have not, well then: they’re just a lying liar mcliarson.
Any sort of spiritual discipline actually takes discipline. Like a marathon runner doesn’t start off jogging 30 miles a day. You build on that. The first part of that process is a journey through your own motives, and you’ll see it’s not as clean as you thought. Which is — gasp! — okay with God. He’s not surprised by that and He’s ready to bring you through.
My friend, you are discovering how hard it can actually be to follow God in a distracting world, and no one is blaming you for that. Don’t let a couple tough attempts shut you down. The evangelical church has been really good at making the Christian life a “one-time one-chance one-shot or-it’s-over” sort of thing. But the Bible most paints the Christian life as a walk,taking steps, to ask God for daily bread. And God has more than enough grace to build you forward.
I can actually place your struggle within any other discipline. For example: When I pray, sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself instead of God. Or when I read the Bible, sometimes I’m just getting information instead of transformation. Or when I serve, I sometimes go through the motions.
But you know what? I keep praying anyway. I keep reading the Bible. I keep serving. We all go through false starts, dry seasons, times of detachment, mixed up motives, and self-doubt. But I keep running to God then, too. Satan’s gameplan is to keep you second-guessing yourself; he’s happy as long as you’re not going to God. So I’m all for doing the thing that pisses off Satan.
Sure, it would be great if we were always fired up for Jesus like a constant rockshow, but that won’t always be the case. What I find though is that when I keep praying (telling God I don’t know even know why), keep reading Scripture (begging God to explode my cold heart), and keep serving (asking God to use me despite myself), then I always turn a corner. The awkwardness and self-doubt get melted by the tender mercy of God. I find that He does not bite my head off, but receives me graciously in any condition.
I once heard a pastor say that in a pit, you’re usually headed for a breakdown or a breakthrough. Maybe it’s not so black and white, but God is always ready to give you the breakthrough. Ask the Holy Spirit for perseverance. Don’t worry about evaluating how “well” you fast. Simply be blessed when you do reach Jesus through your fasting. God is doing way more in you than you think.